Govt will not intervene in Safa's election battle

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pretoria - Government will not intervene in the South African Football Association's (Safa) presidential election.

Minister of Sport and Recreation, Makhenkesi Stofile, said government will not interfere since the election is a private matter among members of the association.

"These are voluntary associations who have their own Constitution to follow. Our responsibility is to make sure that they follow their Constitution accurately and that their governance is up to scratch.

"We said in the past and we will say again that it is up to the delegates to decide on those matters," said Stofile on Friday.

2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chief Executive Officer, Danny Jordaan and the body's Chairman, Irvin Khoza go head-to-head in the election race on 26 September.

However, FIFA has expressed concern about the elections affecting the 2010 FIFA World Cup and had originally wanted it to be postponed till after the event.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter had sent a letter to Safa urging them to postpone the election until after the world cup, however the association is firm on its decision to go ahead with the elections.

FIFA has also taken a decision based on its constitution that whoever wins the elections will have to resign from their position on the LOC.

Minister Stofile further explained that this was an internal matter between FIFA family and SAFA family, and government cannot intervene.

"The National and Sport and Recreation Act of 2007 also warns us not to decide who must lead which federation. We don't get involve on these issues," he said.

Earlier this week, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke assured the public that the upcoming Safa elections would not affect the preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Valcke said the elections would be closely monitored by the world football governing body FIFA, to ensure they do not interfere with the preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"We said we'd like to see it [elections] postponed until after 2010 but Safa refused so we'll be monitoring them very carefully to make sure that they do not impact on the World Cup.

"When we see competition is very tough between two people we work with the organisation [Safa]... we have to protect the organisation of the World Cup," Valcke said.